Sunday, 7 June 2015
REVIEW - SUBURBAN HELL
The Doctor and Leela take part in a suburban house warming and all hell breaks loose.
It’s true. A better title for this piece would’ve been ‘Listening Hell’. There is like one funny joke and it’s from Tom Baker about a certain ‘woman from over the road’. That is it. Nothing else in this piece is even remotely funny. The jokes feel forced and when they’re not, they are aimed at making fun or insulting another character, trying to force a laugh that way.
As for the second problem. Other than the Doctor and Leela, this story has no likable characters at all. Where do we start? I know! How about the resident housewife who can’t say anything unless it’s bitchy and degrading someone else? She’s snobby and irritating and so know-it-nothing-know-it-all that I considered abandoning this story twenty minutes in. Or how about the suffering wife who can’t live or do anything without her husband? I’m surprised she can string together a sentence by herself. If you’re reading this and you’re a woman, you may feel offended right about now. And if you’re a man, we have the dirty coward and the husband of said bitch who barely has what you’d call a backbone, can’t stand up for himself and is reduced to insulting his wife behind her back where she can’t hear while disguising insults as lame one liners.
Oh and I almost forgot about the resident witch (yes, we have those now too) who casts spells by making weird pushing noises that sound like someone trying to squeeze out that last dukie on the toilet. Seriously, that’s what it sounds like.
Oh my god this piece is awful. Let’s look at the villains for this piece. Don’t bother trying to remember their names or what their species is called because they’re that forgettable. As for their plan, it’s worth remembering and leaves an impression…a really bad one. It’s paper thin and just guides the listener into asking ‘what’s the point’.
As for the premise, the house party thing is pathetic, but the timey-wimey aspects that this story incorporates are fantastic. Steven Moffat would be proud. It’s such a shame that such a fantastic plot device is wasted on such an abysmal story.
As for the Doctor and Leela, they are the only good parts about this story. Tom Baker is clearly having a good time acting out this abhorrent story and most of the humor (the bits that are funny), just roll off of his tongue like second nature. The writer clearly had The Talons of Weng-Chiang in mind when writing this. The noble savage is dropped off in a suburban house party. The idea itself is hilarious and we haven’t even gotten to the dialogue yet. If not for these two characters, this story would suck completely.
I’ve heard that the unlikable characters were intentional so it’s not worth a complaint, but I feel I should voice my opinion on the matter. If you are going to set out to write an annoying or unlikable character intentionally, then congratulations…you succeeded. Then let me be the first to inform you that just because something is written to be unlikable or annoying, doesn’t make it less so. Annoying is still annoying, regardless of intent.
Rating this story: 3/10. Even with Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, the only people I’d recommend this story to are my enemies.